UK firms restless as recession drags on

Extra aviation policy could help Britain's economy, businesses insist
Extra aviation policy would help Britain's economy, businesses insist

By politics.co.uk staff

Politicians backing "presentation over substance" have been handed the blame for the recession by a senior business figure.

John Longworth, director-general of the British Chambers of Commerce, spoke out ahead of the publication of GDP figures for the second quarter of 2012 on Wednesday.

He used an article for the Observer newspaper to complain about the governments' refusal to move faster on securing airport expansion in the south-east.


"As we noted when the aviation policy paper was announced, businesses are tired of indecision and equivocation," Longworth wrote.

"They are tired of political short-termism, electoral calculation, and the privileging of presentation over substance.

"Without sustained, long-term action from government to create a stable business environment here at home, the risk appetite among many businesspeople will remain muted."

Growth figures out this week are expected to show that the UK economy contracted for a third successive quarter in succession.

"Politicians seem to believe that businesses must be willing and ready to 'strain every sinew', without doing the same themselves," Longworth added.

Many UK firms are struggling to secure the lending they need, but neither the coalition nor the opposition are prepared to consider a third runway at Heathrow.

Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle said a third runway was "off the agenda" last autumn.

A group of pro-business Conservative MPs has called for the government to rethink its decision on expanding the UK's largest airport, however.

The Tory party had pledged to oppose a third runway in its 2010 general election manifesto.

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